Techi~Tude – Empowerment Through Technology
Author : Usha Jha
Our phone just does not stop buzzing with all our emails, WhatsApp messages, Facebook updates twitter tags and the list is endless. Whereas our father or grandfather is still struggling to connect a call to us by taking down our number from his old contacts diary. Or when we try to reach him, his cellphone seems to have disappeared as he is not accustomed to carry it in his hands and fiddle with it the entire day as you and I do, not because he denies the acceptance of this new technology which has made our life easier (or busier) but because we were so busy updating our own fb statuses and upgrading to the latest versions of smartphones that we absolutely forgot to show them what all this phone or the internet era of you tube and skype conversation could do.
When Amitabh Bachchan at the age of 72 is all over the social network with shooting schedules, nostalgic photographs, remembering his father and paying tribute to his poetry we are glued to his updates and excited with the legendary man’s geeky proficiency. So now it’s high time we follow on the footsteps of Bollywood Stars or Prime Minister Narendra Modi, not in fashion this time but in age no bar for technology!!!
While we are giving thought to this idea of familiarizing our real life heroes, the 60 plus generation that is full of energy equally excited for the news updates and looking forward hearing from us through video calls, WhenAt60 Solutions organized a Technology Training workshop for the elders in our society. The workshop was at Treehouse Forest Green Hotel, Siri Fort on 6th of December 2014. The workshop introduced itself with Mr. Joydeep Chakraborty, CMD of the Elder Care Initiative, WhenAt60 Solutions, giving a warm welcome to the buzzing gathering of bright, colourful elders. His introductory speech warmed up the spirits for the day’s activities on this warm winter morning, giving a glimpse to our curious participants of the day’s engagements.
The enthusiastic crowd brought together a group of curious elders in the age of 60 to 90 year old. Spanning a generation through 20 years, every-one had different expectations and their share of curiosity from this technology training workshop. Taking every step with finesse the WhenAt60 team which understands and identifies the needs of elderly men and women, had customized this entire workshop keeping them in mind. Every bit of the training stated with the basics and taking into account the interests and hobbies of the elder individuals and also elderly couple. The session started with basic cellphone features and gave the understanding of the everyday required usage of the phone like saving numbers to the contact list, making calls though call history, sending messages, setting alarm on the cellphones, putting your phone on silent when you don’t want to be disturbed, clicking pictures (oh yes! they did try to infect selfie obsession to the elderly crowd).
One must have been present their to enjoy the rising curiosity of the plus sixty crowd with every feature being taught and followed by the twinkling of their eyes and sense of achievement as they tried out each of the features discussed on their personal cellphones. Thus this particularly designed session was not a monologue of flow of information from one direction, instead it brought together a warm interactive participation form every elderly participant and opened the house for practical learning and making new friends and talking and discussing everything under the sun.
The session then progressed towards an introduction to Facebook and allowing them to peep into the comparatively smaller and connected world of today. Some of them had vague ideas of a thing like Facebook existed, for some this was an absolute new discovery the excitement on their face could not be hidden, when actually there was someone to guide them through this new age platform of making friends and answer their each and every query about the same. And keep yours open to eaves drop on our excited elders discussing their plans to benefit from this new found knowledge. Some wanted to know the whereabouts of old friends, some had interest in particular colleagues, and some wanted to be connected to their naughty grand kids and be upbeat with the latest music on the floor.
Music reminds, how it brings together people of all age groups, different religion and cultural background, so how could WhenAt60 Solutions miss on the opportunity of music and conversation with such an enthusiastic gathering. There were various games with Bollywood songs and excitement reached new limits, and people breaking up into singing their favorite numbers. Various other games and light competition was infused in the session to promote more participation and enjoyment. As the day progressed towards a merry evening there was the classic prize distribution ceremony which was sponsored by Dr. Puneet Garg (Dental Pearls Implant Center) to the winners of games and certificate of participation for all the participants, handed over to them by Mr. Joydeep Chakraborty, CMD of the Elder Care Initiative on behalf of Dr. Garg.